Police Civilian Review Board reflects on past year

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The first Charlottesville Police Civilian Review Board’s team is quickly coming to an end.

The board will finally vote on the bylaws that it will submit to the Charlottesville City Council on Monday, the day before the terms for its members are officially over.

Sarah Burke, a member of the CRB, said she is proud of what they have accomplished in a year.

"This year has been a challenging year for a lot of us, but I think we really persevered with the task that we had,” said Burke.

After hours of research, talking to members of other CRBs across the country, and taking in public input, members are feeling good about the bylaws they have written.

"What we're asking is that the CRB be able to review policies,” said Burke. “Be able to review civilian complaints of law enforcement action, and to be able to make public recommendations and reports based on that.”

However, there is still work to be done past the allotted terms, and the members are not sure of the future of CRB.

"There's a lot of next steps and at this point we're unsure of exactly who's going to hold that flag, who's going to carry that banner,” said Burke. “Because our board will end and at this point, we don't have any knowledge that the city is intending on continuing our terms or appointing board members upon our completion."

Harold Folley, a community organizer for the Civil Rights and Racial Justice Program at Legal Aid and a representative of the People’s Coalition, said the community needs to push for those next steps.

"One of the things that’s important that the community must come out and support the bylaws because if we don't come out and support it, the bylaws are going to sit out on a shelf,” said Folley.

He said he has witnessed the board come a long way from where it started.

Burke said even though it has not been easy, the board members have enjoyed working together.

"We all come from incredibly diverse backgrounds,” said Burke. “And have really come together to appreciate each other, respect each other, and work really well together I think."

The board’s final meeting Monday will be in the basement conference room of City Hall at 10 a.m.

The board has requested a day to present the bylaws and work to the city council at a meeting later in the summer.



 
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